If we don’t want to be another Gold Coast, what do we want to be?
That was the question Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson posed to an audience at today’s Sunshine Coast Sustainable Futures Forum: Sustainable Villages Conference 2012 at the Innovation Centre, to stimulate debate about who we are, rather than who we are not as a region.
The conference gathered experts to discuss the future of the “community of communities” which make up our coastal home.
“We often hear of the phrase, and while it may be an acknowledgement of the ‘region-building’ and local government history of the Sunshine Coast, it also tells us much in terms of the values and aspirations of many of our residents,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“We must not lose sight of these values and aspirations – and importantly, we must take them along with us as we progress with our own city building journey – just as other cities have done.”
Cr Jamieson underscored the important role economic sustainability must play in helping secure our future.
“What is crucial for us to be successful as a city – and by that I mean securing investment, exploiting economic outcomes from major development and retaining our community and lifestyle attributes that we prize so highly – is to clearly and convincingly establish our point of difference,” he said.
“I asked delegates to contemplate – if this is our compelling advantage – how we make sure we capitalise on this for the economic and social benefit of our community – both now and into the future.
“It is more than history and nostalgia demanding that we do this.
“Maintaining the individual qualities of localities – whether it be Eumundi or Maleny or Buderim or Coolum – is important and council is firmly committed to working with our communities to achieve this objective.”
The mayor was joined by a range of national and international speakers including Professor John Tomaney from University College London and Queensland University of Technology’s John Byrne.